My 50s were quite turbulent, now that I think about it. Divorcing, misplacing a job, starting this blog, taking another job, remarrying, leaving a job. Children graduating college and finding their ways into the world of grownups. My mother moving to memory care and all those emergencies.
So I am perhaps more focused on streamlining, on finding calm, than many people my age. Or maybe it’s universal in our 60s? I don’t know?
First, my Instant Pot. For all the hype, Mr. Pot is just an electric pressure cooker. Why do I love him so?
A pressure cooker locks and you cannot open it. Enforced cooking zen. No, you can’t raise the heat just a little. No, you can’t stir one more time. No, you can’t add a just pinch of salt. At least not until it’s finished. After years of intentional multi-step cooking I find the process quite peaceful.
Here’s a recipe for vegan split pea soup, modified from this one on Fat Free Vegan.
Ingredients To Serve Two With Leftovers
- 1 onion, chopped, smallish
- 2 carrots, diced smallish
- 2 celery ribs, diced smallish
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp some sort of seasoning blend, I used “Chicken” but “Italian” will do
- 1/2 tsp dried sage
- a little white wine
- a little vegetable broth (optional)
- 1 cup of dried split peas
- 4-5 cups water
- 1-2 tsp Liquid Smoke flavoring
- Salt and pepper to taste
What To Do
- Turn on Instant Pot Saute function
- Dry sauté the onions stirring a lot until they get soft
- Add the celery, stir for a minute
- Add the carrots, stir for a minute
- Add the spices, stir once or twice
- Deglaze the vegetables with a little white wine, scraping up brown bits
- Add a couple of tablespoons of vegetable broth if you happen to have it
- Taste, maybe add some salt if you feel like it, or a little more spice
- Turn off the Instant Pot
- Add the split peas
- Add water, stir
- Close and lock the Instant Pot, press Manual/High, set for 8 minutes
- Natural pressure release, then use an immersion blender to blend a little bit on the side
- Add salt and pepper and Liquid Smoke before serving
Eat with french baguette. If someone in your house is an unreformed carnivore, add chunks of ham before serving.
Second, my steam mop. I have told you before that I hate house cleaning. Nothing has changed. But certain aspects I hate more than others – mopping floors, for example. So. Much. Water. First there’s the splashing and the squeezing of the water application device – a mop, I suppose – then there is the Too Much Water On The Floor And It Never Dries aftermath.
With the steam cleaner the water can’t splash, since it’s in a reservoir on the chassis, no squeezing required, because, steam, and it leaves very little moisture behind, so, floors are quick to dry. Thank you Rachel.
Righty-ho. The first rose has bloomed. Off to fill the part of my mind emptied by Zen Pea Soup with Soaring Joy For The Year’s First White Rose. Life in the time of time to oneself is all about thoughtful tradeoffs.
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